How to decorate a nightstand

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Here are nightstand decorating ideas to make this spot in your bedroom both stylish and functional. 

Nightstand styling

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How do you decorate a nightstand?

Decorating a nightstand is important because it is such a personal spot. It’s one of the last things you see before going to sleep and one of the first when waking up. 

It is also a spot that can collect clutter easily. 

So what looks good on a nightstand? A simple guide for decorating your nightstand is to have a lamp, a tray, a book or books, something decorative, and something sentimental. 

Choosing a nightstand 

Before we get into decorating a nightstand, we need to have a nightstand. 

While having a sleek table might be trendy, you’ll probably learn that having at least a small place to tuck things away is nice. 

Nightstands can be a great place to have a little extra storage. Having a drawer to store hair ties, lip balm, and hand cream keeps essentials in reach and out of sight. 

If your bedside table has open storage, like shelves, this can be a great place to store books. 

You don’t have to have matching nightstands. However having side tables that are the same height will help to keep the room from looking off balance.

How tall should a nightstand be? 

A nightstand should be close to the same height as your bed. That way when you are in bed it is easy to reach items on the nightstand. 

Here are some cute nightstands with storage

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Five nightstand essentials

A lamp

If you add nothing else from this list to your nightstand, at least add a lamp. Overhead lights are so harsh at night and don’t allow for your body to start winding down. Having a bedside lamp adds just enough light to read or journal before bed, while still keeping the atmosphere tranquil. 

Just like with your nightstand, you don’t have to have matching lamps. However, having matching lamps or at least lamps of the same size can keep the bed area looking cohesive. 

Shop Lamps

If you have a small nightstand and really don’t want to take up space with a lamp, wall sconces are a great alternative. Even if you are a renter, or just don’t want to hardwire sconces, there are so many plug in options that will work well. 

Shop Wall Sconces

A trinket tray or dish

A trinket tray can work as a placeholder for the jewelry you forgot to take off before bed or a spot to keep your chapstick. Having a small organizer helps keep your nightstand looking orderly and only lets you have so much clutter on top of the table. 

Shop Trinket Trays

nightstand details

Something decorative

This is to help make the space look more intentional. Add a decorative (and functional) clock, a small statue, or a vase of flowers!

Alternatively, instead of adding something else to the surface of the nightstand, you can add something to the wall behind it. I’m a proponent of having a piece of art or a mirror hung just above you nightstand. It adds interest, and again, helps the space look intentional. Plus if you have a nightstand on each side of your bed using matching mirrors or coordinated art will tie the room together.

Shop decor

Something sentimental or personal 

As mentioned before, your nightstand is one of the last things you see before falling asleep and the first thing you see when you wake up. Having a special photo or keepsake item there adds to the calming nature of your nighttime routine. 


Whether you love to read before bed or just like coffee table books for decoration add a book or two to your nightstand! 

You can also use a book as a stand or tray that will help corral items and make the area look less cluttered.  

Have you ever heard you should group things in threes because it’s more pleasing to the eye? Try this: a large book as a base topped with a picture frame or other decorative item. Then add your trinket tray. Varying the height of items, even in a small way as I’ve done, creates a more interesting vignette.

Shop Books

5 items for your nightstand
winter to spring transition outfit with a striped sweater and medium wash jeans

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